Ultimate List of Social Anxiety Books
Are you looking for books on social anxiety to help you feel better? While going to therapy might cost hundreds of dollars a month, books written by psychologists and other mental health professionals can be a great, affordable way to get help.
Some of the best books on social anxiety include “How to Be Yourself” by Ellen Hendriksen, “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” by Edmund Bourne, and “The Confidence Gap” by Russ Harris. These books offer different perspectives on social anxiety and its causes, as well as specific tips and exercises to help you overcome your fears.
If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve created a list of recommendations for you below. Once you find a few that look promising, check them out from your local library, buy them from your favorite local bookstore, or purchase them through an online retailer like Amazon.
What if you want to read them all? I’d recommend signing up for an audiobook subscription service like Amazon’s Audible. I have a subscription myself, and love that I’m curating a library of books that I can listen to over and over again. You can get a 30-day free trial here and start listening to your first book right away.
1. How to Be Yourself by Susan Cain
How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety
It can be hard to know how to “be yourself” if you have social anxiety—after all, part of the problem is that you’re afraid of being judged by others. In this book, psychologist Ellen Hendriksen offers practical advice for overcoming your fears and learning to accept yourself.
Dr. Hendriksen lives with social anxiety herself and has devoted her career to helping others. In “How to Be Yourself” she shares her own personal experiences, as well as the latest scientific research on social anxiety.
(Watch the video below to hear Dr. Hendriksen talk about social anxiety!)
2. Overcome Social Anxiety Step-by-Step by Thomas Richards
Overcome Social Anxiety Step-by-Step
Dr. Thomas Richards is the director of the Social Anxiety Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, and has been treating social anxiety for more than 25 years. In his book, he provides a step-by-step guide to overcoming social anxiety disorder, including how to identify and challenge the negative thoughts that fuel your fears. He also offers tips on how to build self-confidence and assertiveness skills.
Dr. Richards has lived with social anxiety himself, so he knows what you’re going through and can offer valuable insights and advice. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to overcoming social anxiety, this is the book for you.
3. The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook by Martin M. Antony and Richard P. Swinson
The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook
The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook is one of the most popular and well-reviewed books on social anxiety. It’s written by two clinical psychologists who specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders, so you can be sure that it’s based on sound scientific principles.
The book is divided into two parts: The first part focuses on helping you understand your social anxiety and how it might be impacting your life. The second part is made up of a variety of exercises and activities that you can use to start working on your social anxiety.
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4. Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety by Erika Hilliard
Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety
Erika Hilliard is a therapist who specializes in the treatment of social anxiety, and she’s also someone who’s lived with social anxiety herself. In Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety, she offers readers a relatable and compassionate look at what it’s like to live with social anxiety.
The book includes chapters on topics like understanding your social anxiety, learning to cope with anxiety-provoking situations, and building self-confidence. Hilliard also includes a section with resources for further help and information.
5. Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness by Gillian Butler
Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness
Gillian Butler is a psychologist who has written a number of popular self-help books, including Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness. This book takes a cognitive-behavioral approach to social anxiety, which means that it focuses on changing the way you think and behave in order to reduce your anxiety.
Butler begins by helping you understand what social anxiety is and how it affects your life. She then provides a variety of exercises and techniques that you can use to start overcoming your social anxiety. The book also includes chapters on topics like dealing with perfectionism and improving your self-esteem.
6. The Social Skills Guidebook by Chris Macleod
The Social Skills Guidebook: Manage Shyness, Improve Your Conversations, and Make Friends Without Giving Up Who You Are
The Social Skills Guidebook is written by Chris MacLeod, based on his personal experience of overcoming social anxiety. MacLeod is a self-proclaimed “social skills geek” who has spent years studying and practicing the art of socializing.
The book is aimed at helping people with social anxiety learn how to make friends, have successful conversations, and feel more confident in social situations. MacLeod also talks about how to be yourself, and not end up feeling like you’re faking it or putting on an act.
7. The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens by Jennifer Shannon
The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens: CBT and ACT Skills to Help you Build Social Confidence
The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens is written by Jennifer Shannon, a licensed therapist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. The book is designed specifically for teenagers who are struggling with social anxiety.
Shannon begins by helping readers understand what social anxiety is and how it might be affecting them. She then provides a variety of exercises and activities that teens can use to start working on their social anxiety. The book also includes chapters on topics like dating and social media, and ways to build self-confidence.
8. Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Catherine Pittman and Elizabeth Karle
Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic & Worry
Rewire Your Anxious Brain is written by Catherine Pittman, a psychologist, and Elizabeth Karle, a writer. The book is based on the latest scientific research on anxiety and the brain, and provides readers with a step-by-step guide to understanding and addressing their anxiety.
Pittman and Karle begin by helping readers understand how the brain works when it’s anxious, and then provide a variety of exercises and activities that can help rewire the brain. The book includes chapters on topics like managing stress, developing a healthy lifestyle, and using mindfulness to manage anxiety.
9. Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong by Kelly Wilson & Troy DuFrene
Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong
Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong is written by Kelly Wilson, a psychology professor, and Troy DuFrene, a psychotherapist and author. The book takes the stance that rather than trying to get rid of anxiety, it’s more helpful to learn how to live with it.
This approach to anxiety management is rooted in Buddhism and acceptance and commitment therapy techniques. The book includes a variety of exercises and activities that readers can use to start accepting their anxiety and learning to live with it. Wilson and DuFrene also provide advice on how to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings, and build a life that’s meaningful despite anxiety.
10. The Anxiety & Worry Workbook by David Clark and Aaron Beck
The Anxiety & Worry Workbook is written by David Clark, a professor of psychology, and Aaron Beck, a psychiatrist and the founder of cognitive therapy. The book is based on cognitive therapy techniques, which are aimed at helping people understand and change their thoughts and beliefs about themselves and the world around them.
Clark and Beck provide a variety of exercises and activities that readers can use to start changing their thoughts and beliefs about anxiety. The book also includes chapters on topics like managing stress, coping with panic attacks, and developing a healthy lifestyle.
11. The Anxiety Workbook
I wrote this book in 2017 and it is now available on Amazon! The Anxiety Workbook is a comprehensive guide to understanding and managing anxiety.
The book includes chapters on the different types of anxiety, how to identify your triggers, and strategies for managing anxiety. I also provide a variety of exercises and activities that readers can use to start managing their anxiety.
12. The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety & Shyness by Jan Fleming and Nancy Kocovski
The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety & Shyness
The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness is written by Jan Fleming, a psychologist, and Nancy Kocovski, a professor of psychology. The book is based on the principles of mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy, and includes step-by-step exercises and activities that readers can use to start managing their social anxiety. Fleming and Kocovski provide advice on how to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings, and help readers learn to accept themselves and their social anxiety.
13. In the Spotlight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing by Janet Esposito
In the Spotlight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing
This book is based on the author’s own personal experience and professional expertise from years of successfully helping people overcome their fear of public speaking. The book is designed to help any person – from beginner to experienced speaker – rid themselves of stage fright for good.
The book starts with an overview of stage fright, its causes, and how it manifests itself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Janet Esposito then provides readers with a step-by-step program for overcoming their fear of public speaking. The program includes exercises and activities designed to help people understand and manage their anxiety.
14. The Solution to Social Anxiety: Break Free From the Shyness that Holds You Back by Aziz Gazipura
The Solution to Social Anxiety
The Solution to Social Anxiety is written by Aziz Gazipura, a clinical psychologist. The book is written primarily for men to help them speak up assertively, advance in their career, stop worrying about what people think, and become more charming. This book also delves into how men can become more successful with women by improving their social skills.
15. The Self Confidence Workbook by Barbara Markway and Celia Ampel
The Self-Confidence Workbook offers practical advice on self-acceptance and self-compassion. It includes a 5-step program, interactive exercises, and a guide to understanding self-confidence. The book is written by Barbara Markway, a clinical psychologist, and Celia Ampel, a journalist.
16. The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt by Russ Harris
The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt
The Confidence Gap is based on the principles of mindfulness and acceptance. Written by therapist and coach Russ Harris, the book offers a different approach to managing anxiety—one that is non-judgmental, compassionate, and accepting. If you’ve ever struggled against your social anxiety or unsuccessfully tried to control it, this book offers an alternative path to recovery.
Whatever book you choose, remember to sign up for Audible to get your first audiobook free! Audible has the world’s largest selection of audiobooks, plus podcasts, original series, and more. With Audible, you can listen on your commute, while you work out, or wherever you are. And, with Audible’s free app, you can listen to your favorite audiobooks anytime, anywhere. Sign up and start listening for free now!
Do you have any favorite books or resources on overcoming shyness or social anxiety? Let me know in the comments!
Related Articles about the Best Social Anxiety Books
- 10 Best Self Confidence Books for Social Anxiety
- 10 Must-Read Books about Social Skills
- 12 Amazingly Helpful Public Speaking Books
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Social Anxiety Books You Need for Self-Help
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Thanks for reading! I hope you found some helpful tips. Since this site is about social anxiety, I wanted to also share some tools I use that I hope you’ll find helpful. Some of these are affiliate links, so if you decide to try them, I’ll earn a commission. However, I only recommend things I have used myself and would recommend to a friend or family member.
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Good list of books. When I started researching for my own social anxiety/phobia, reading was a great help and relief.
Arlin Cuncic says
Thanks Earla, good to hear from you!